There is a feeling of trust and confidence when tuning into Clooney. You know from long, lovely experience that the voice will be like dark jam, that the musicianship will be superb and that the lyrics—dispensed with great clarity—will be dealt with wisely and well. Further, you know that the choice of material will be pretty close to impeccable and that Clooney will be surrounded by fine musicians.
So it is with Girl Singer, which, while essentially a compilation of such standards as "The Best Is Yet to Come," "More than You Know" and "Autumn in New York," steps off the track with Dave Frishberg's wistful, delectable "Sweet Kentucky Ham" and with the album's one very easily forgettable entry, the trite "We Fell in Love Anyway" ("The moon wasn't shining/ The stars weren't bright/ It was a rainy, late autumn night...").
What's particularly rewarding about Clooney, now 63, is that she brings a sense of freshness and discovery to even the most familiar songs. You could swear in the case, say, of "Autumn in New York" that Clooney was having her very first experience with fall in Manhattan and its infinite promise. And "From This Moment On," which seems to be taking its usual propulsive turn, suddenly switches tempo and slows down to an almost syncopated beat when Clooney reprises the verse. The album closes out with "The Best Is Yet to Come." That's not quite correct; the best is already here. (Concord)"